In 1941 Winston Churchill delivered a speech to the students of Harrow School.

“…never give in, never give in, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

This sentiment has been described as one of Churchill’s best. It epitomizes an attitude that many aspire to, with some stand-outs on the world stage who have found success in business or in life, through sheer hard work, grit and determination. Here’s a good list from The Huffington Post, including:

  • Vincent van Gogh – he may have only sold one painting in his lifetime, yet he painted over 900 works of art. He’s now considered one of the greatest artists of our time.
  • Thomas Edison – the lightbulb didn’t happen like a lightbulb moment; he made numerous attempts before succeeding in creating the lightbulb. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” he said.
  • Albert Einstein – as a young boy, his teachers thought he was lazy and wrote him off as a dreamer, “…conjuring up abstract questions people couldn’t understand.” He kept on doing his thing and went on to develop the theory of relativity.
  • Bill Gates – his first company failed, but that didn’t stop him; it helped him develop Microsoft years later.

There’s one thing these people all have in common: they never gave up. They’ve all experienced failure, which didn’t set them back, but helped inform their success and fuelled their drive to succeed. It’s this resilient attitude that demonstrates personal character. Some people aspire to developing it, while others just have it. You know who they are, and if you had the choice, you want them on your team. Because not only will they do whatever it takes to achieve a result, they’ll inspire others to do the same.

Image attribute/source: Winston Churchill /

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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